ARE YOU MENOPAUSE READY? 😁
Menopause can seem far away for some of us, it can be easy not to think about it, but it's coming whether you like it or not. Let's remember, we don't get a new vagina, or a new pelvic floor, so it's worth educating yourself on what is to come......
The end of your period and reproductive years is met by relief for some, and sadness with others. The average woman starts menopause at the age of 51. It’s best described as a time in life where physical and emotional changes occur, signalling the end of a woman’s fertile years.
In the past decade, greater discussion around the menopause has changed this from a taboo subject, to a hotly contested topic. Yet, while some symptoms such as hot flashes and mood changes are widely acknowledged, other areas have been less publicised, including vagina changes during menopause.
Here we look at some of the facts around menopause and how this may affect your vagina.
Dry Downstairs 🌵
While vagina changes during menopause can vary from woman to woman, vaginal atrophy is one of the most reported conditions, affecting half of all women. It refers to the thinning, drying and inflammation of the vagina, and can have many symptoms.
Prior to menopause the vagina is kept lubricated thanks to oestrogen hormones. However, when ‘the change’ comes along, a drop in this hormone results in less blood supply to the vagina, and the result is dryness, and sometimes itchiness too. It can also result in shortening or tightening of the vagina.
Vaginal dryness is a particularly common complaint for women going through the change. If you’ve ever attempted sex when you weren’t quite ready for it, you’ll be aware of the discomfort that it can bring. The good news is that a lubricant like our Victory Oil can help to maintain a healthy sex life. It is easy to apply, it's 100% natural, and just a few drops can provide relief to the discomfort caused by menopausal dryness. 💛
Sex drive 💥
On that note, you might not be feeling in the mood. Because, as well as vagina changes during menopause, your emotional state is affected too, and this includes your sex drive. Due to a dip in oestrogen and testosterone, you may feel less sexually aroused than before.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one way to combat some of the symptoms of menopause, including libido. Studies reveal that 44 per cent of women on HRT reported an increase in sexual interest whilst on it.
However, as with vaginal atrophy, it may be worth using a lubricant since your vulva vaginal tissues are even more susceptible to bleeding, tearing and injury during sexual intercourse during and after the menopause. (Hello VVO)
A Nasty Sting
Due to the thinning of cells, inflammation and infection are more common during and post menopause. Of the many vagina changes during menopause, you can expect a higher incidence of urinary tract infections (UTI) at this time.
Taking cranberry tablets may help prevent some UTIs, but another option is to apply oestrogen cream to your vagina. However, do consult your GP in advance.
Change in pH levels
Another vagina change during menopause is discharge. It’s not uncommon to experience smelly and/or watery discharge during this time. Once again, this can be put down to fluctuating hormones, and may even affect your personal odour downstairs too.
Pelvic Floor Care
We don't get another vagina or a new pelvic floor, so it is vital to look after it. See a physio if you can after childbirth, learn how to do your Kegels, and NEVER stop doing them.
Being aware of some of the changes that come with menopause will help equip you better for dealing with the change. It’s important to note that each woman’s experience is different, although vagina change during menopause is quite likely in some form. The good news is that there’s plenty of wellbeing and medical support to assist with a happy menopause.